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theophilus

Baptized while an unbeliever

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theophilus

This thread, https://www.christforums.org/forum/c...ersons-baptism, discusses a lot of issues regarding baptism, but there is one question that it doesn't address. If someone is baptized while an unbeliever but later is saved, is his first baptism valid or does he need to be baptized again?

 

I am asking this because that was my experience. I grew up in a liberal church where the gospel was never clearly explained. I came to the concusion that salvation came through being baptized and then living a good live. (I don't know if the church taught this, but this was what I came to believe.) I got baptized and became a member of the church. Later I heard the gospel and believed it, and I got baptized to show that I was now a follower of Christ. Both baptisms were by immersion.

 

I believe that my first baptism was not valid because I was not a believer, and that my second baptism was not a rebaptism, but was the only time I was baptized. I am wondering what other members of the forum think about this.

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reformed baptist

As a baptism is actually a profession of faith I would suggest that where there is no faith there is no actual baptism, so I would say your first 'dunking' (or however it was administered) was not a baptism therefore your 'second' baptism is not a rebaptism - I hope that makes sense

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Fastfredy0

I think you're getting baptized a second time is a superior idea to your not being baptized a second time. I don't have scripture to address this specific situation. You did what your heart felt best and that seems a great reason.

 

Aside: My son had a similar experience. In his case he wasn't sure he was a believer first time he was baptized. So at the age of 26ish he got 'dunked" again. Made me proud.

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theophilus
As a baptism is actually a profession of faith I would suggest that where there is no faith there is no actual baptism, so I would say your first 'dunking' (or however it was administered) was not a baptism therefore your 'second' baptism is not a rebaptism - I hope that makes sense

It makes perfect sense to me.

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Innerfire89

As a Presbyterian I'd say if you understand and accept your baptism from whatever point in life it took place, then its valid. But like I would tell someone who was baptized as an infant and wanted to be rebaptized as an adult, do what you need to in faith.

 

As for myself, I was baptized as an infant in a Lutheran church, then in a Baptist church when I was 18, but I didn't start fully living for Christ till I was 24. I accept what my baptism stands for when I was an infant, my 2nd baptism was just me being proud of feeling a part of something.

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William
Staff
If someone is baptized while an unbeliever but later is saved, is his first baptism valid or does he need to be baptized again?

 

No more than requiring him to be re-circumcised in the Old Covenant.

 

As a Presbyterian I'd say if you understand and accept your baptism from whatever point in life it took place, then its valid. But like I would tell someone who was baptized as an infant and wanted to be rebaptized as an adult, do what you need to in faith.

 

As for myself, I was baptized as an infant in a Lutheran church, then in a Baptist church when I was 18, but I didn't start fully living for Christ till I was 24. I accept what my baptism stands for when I was an infant, my 2nd baptism was just me being proud of feeling a part of something.

 

If I were to do what I needed to do in faith then I would of rejected a second baptism.

 

I too was baptized in a Presbyterian church when very young, and later in life was rebaptized in a credo baptist church. I now consider my first baptism legit and my second communicating my doubts (a reversal of why I did it).

 

God bless,

William

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atpollard

Acts 19:3-5

3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”

 

“John’s baptism,” they replied.

 

4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

 

Sometimes it can be appropriate to be rebaptized when you finally understand the truth of Jesus.

(But I don’t remember the Apostles being rebaptized, so it doesn’t seem NECESSARY.)

 

 

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William
Staff
Sometimes it can be appropriate to be rebaptized when you finally understand the truth of Jesus.

(But I don’t remember the Apostles being rebaptized, so it doesn’t seem NECESSARY.)

 

Is "baptized" and "baptized by the Spirit" the same?

 

Acts 19:5

Now the question is, whether it were lawful to repeat the same; and furious men in this our age; trusting to this testimony, went about to bring in baptizing again. − (358) Some take baptism for new institution or instruction, of whose mind I am not, because, as their exposition is too much racked, so it smelleth of a starting-hole − (359). −

 

Other some deny that baptism was repeated; because they were baptized amiss by some foolish enemy − (360) of John. But because their conjecture hath no color; yea, the words of Paul do rather import that they were the true and natural disciples of John, and Luke doth honorably call them disciples of Christ; I do not subscribe to this opinion, and yet deny that the baptism of water was repeated, because the words of Luke import no other thing, save only that they were baptized with the Spirit. First, it is no new thing for the name of baptism to be translated unto the gifts of the Spirit, as we saw in the first and in the eleventh chapters, ( Act 1:5, and Act 11:6) where Luke said, that when Christ promised to his apostles to send the Spirit visible, he called it baptism. −

 

Also, that when the Spirit came down upon Cornelius, Peter remembered the words of the Lord, “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” Again, we see that those visible gifts are spoken of by name in this place, and that the same are given with baptism. And whereas it followeth immediately, that when he had laid his hands upon them, the Spirit came, I take it to be added by way of interpretation; for it is a kind of speaking much used in the Scripture, first to set down a thing briefly, and afterwards to make it more plain. Therefore, that which by reason of brevity was somewhat obscure, doth Luke better express and lay more open, saying, that by laying on of hands the Spirit was given them. If any man object, that when baptism is put for the gifts of the Spirit, it is not taken simply, but having somewhat added to it. I answer, that Luke’s meaning doth sufficiently appear by the text; and again, that Luke doth allude unto the baptism whereof he spake. And surely if you understand it of the external sign, it shall be an absurd thing that it was given them without using any better doctrine. But and if you take it metaphorically for institution, the speech shall be as yet harsh; and the narration should not agree, that after they were taught the Holy Ghost came down upon them. − John Calvin

 

God bless,

William

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atpollard

What Peter says should happen ...

 

Acts 2:38 NASB

38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

Seems to be exactly what we see actually does happen ...

 

Acts 19:4-6 NASB

4 Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.

 

 

Peter ... Paul

”Repent” ... “John baptized with the baptism of repentance”

“each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” ... “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus”

“you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” ... “when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them”

 

Was Peter also not talking about ‘water baptism’?

I think Calvin missed the mark on Acts 19:5 ... denying the obvious ‘simple meaning’.

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theophilus
No more than requiring him to be re-circumcised in the Old Covenant.

There is a difference. It isn't possible to be circumsized more than once but there is no limit to the number of times a person can be baptized.

 

Circumcision served as a sign that one was a Jew because it left a permanent mark on the person who experienced it. It was possible to know whether someone had been circumcized. Baptism does not leave a similar mark so it is impossible to know with certainty whether someone has been baptized. IF you were baptized as an infant you can't even know for sure if you were baptized; you must rely on what others have told you.

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William
Staff
Peter ... Paul

”Repent” ... “John baptized with the baptism of repentance”

“each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” ... “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus”

“you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” ... “when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them”

 

Was Peter also not talking about ‘water baptism’?

I think Calvin missed the mark on Acts 19:5 ... denying the obvious ‘simple meaning’.

 

Was John's baptism the same as Jesus'? If so then why the need for rebaptism? Some commentators believe that there is a "change of Lordship", that is, these men were baptized to John and not Christ, in other words, they were not Christian but a sect. John's baptismal authority ended when he died and after being baptized into John's baptism would not be a legitimate baptism. I can see why Paul questioned the validity of their baptism. 1 Corinthians 10:2, being baptized into Moses is not the same as being baptized by Moses.

 

What I find intriguing is Calvin's point of being baptized with the Spirit, did they not know of the Spirit of God? When was the Holy Spirit first introduced in baptism Matthew 3:11? I'd think that these men Paul was confronting would acknowledge the Holy Spirit rather than say, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

 

Point of interest, I run across some today that suggest that they are baptized in John's baptism. They (a Baptist sect) suggest they are not part of the catholic church today which makes me wonder whether they are even considered among the one body of Christ? If not, then they truly are a sect and are facing the same problems Paul identified in Acts 19.

 

God bless,

William

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Just Mike

In the New Testament there is no example of or instruction for infant Baptism. Ever example of those being baptized were aware of their need to repent of their sins. Those being baptized knew what sin meant and desired to change their sinful direction under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the one and only exception as He was sinless and perfect. Jesus set our example to follow Him in being Baptized.

 

Matthew 28:20,21 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

 

Mark 16:15,16. "And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned."

 

Romans 6:3-5 "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be in the likeness of His resurrection."

 

Acts 2:38 "Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

 

Acts 8:34-38 " The eunuch answered Philip and said "Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or someone else? Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him."

 

Acts 10:46-48. "For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on a few days."

 

These verses clearly indicate Baptism was requested by those people whom the Holy Spirit convicted of their sinful life, and their need to repent of their sins, and believe in Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.

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atpollard
In the New Testament there is no example of or instruction for infant Baptism. Ever example of those being baptized were aware of their need to repent of their sins. Those being baptized knew what sin meant and desired to change their sinful direction under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the one and only exception as He was sinless and perfect. Jesus set our example to follow Him in being Baptized.

 

Matthew 28:20,21 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

 

Mark 16:15,16. "And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned."

 

Romans 6:3-5 "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be in the likeness of His resurrection."

 

Acts 2:38 "Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

 

Acts 8:34-38 " The eunuch answered Philip and said "Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or someone else? Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him."

 

Acts 10:46-48. "For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on a few days."

 

These verses clearly indicate Baptism was requested by those people whom the Holy Spirit convicted of their sinful life, and their need to repent of their sins, and believe in Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life.

That’s a half truth.

While there are already plenty of discussions on infant baptism without turning this into yet another, there are some verses ...

 

[Acts 16:15, 33 NASB] 15 And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us. ... 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.

[1Corinthians 1:16 NASB] 16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other.

 

... that mention “households” being baptized and leave open the door to the possibility that not EVERYONE baptized in scripture “requested it”.

 

As a Credobaptist, I do not find the references to ‘households’ to be irrefutably convincing, but it is not honest discussion to pretend that they do not exist.

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Sue D.
I think you're getting baptized a second time is a superior idea to your not being baptized a second time. I don't have scripture to address this specific situation. You did what your heart felt best and that seems a great reason.

 

Aside: My son had a similar experience. In his case he wasn't sure he was a believer first time he was baptized. So at the age of 26ish he got 'dunked" again. Made me proud.

Thanks for sharing that -- I was Also re-baptized - because the 1st time After the fact, I realized that I wasn't really sure Of my salvation. I'd heard About salvation from a very young age, but didn't have assurance Of my salvation. So I Did talk to God about that and Did accept Him as my Savior and then felt it was needed to be baptized As a believer. And it Did make a difference for Me. I was saved 1st and then baptized.

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